An £8 million project to improve the 13-storey, 1960’s Hull Royal Infirmary tower block continues to make great progress and is being undertaken in tandem with another major project to extend the A&E department.
The Hull Royal Infirmary Tower Block Facade, Repair and Encapsulation project is being driven by Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. The aim of the scheme is to improve the look and overall condition of Hull’s tallest building, whilst at the same time make the tower more energy efficient. At the same time, there will also be great benefits to the ward patient environments, offering greater control of window ventilation and internal temperatures.
Discussing the project, Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust Project Manager Johnathan Linklater, said:
“It is a privilege to be involved in extending the lifespan of such an important and iconic building, which is 50 years old this year. The concrete repairs, high grade encapsulation and high performance windows address the ravages the weather has had over the years on the original concrete mosaic panelling.
“This scheme has seen us break out all the de-bonded render and the defective concrete, replace some steel work and conduct some re-rendering. Over the top of all this we are installing a new encapsulating skin, with Kingspan composite panels over the gable areas and an aluminium and glass curtain walling system over the South and North elevations.
“Progress has been maintained by excellent engagement from clinical and other staff to mitigate the worst of the disruption, which was at times significant.”
“Once the external aspects of the work are completed we will go inside the building to remove all of the old windows, and install new reveals through the openings to the rear of the newly installed curtain walling. This will further improve the internal ward environments. It will also be even more critical that we have the full engagement of staff to minimise the disruption to patients and the programme of works.”
Work began on the project in February 2013 and is due to reach completion in May 2014. In addition to providing a fully renovated building, the project is also giving the local economy a lift through the employment of a number of local contractors.
George Houlton & Sons Ltd is the main contractor on the project, whilst Race Cottam is providing architectural services. OnSite Specialist Maintenance – formerly Lingard Ltd – is responsible for the concrete repair works and Glass and Framing Solutions Ltd have been appointed to complete the curtain walling. Ashford Cladding Systems are undertaking the cladding on the gable ends.
“This is a very important scheme for the patients and visitors served by Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and for the staff working on the site. The tower block is where the main activities of the hospital are undertaken. The scheme enables the Trust to keep it functioning as part of the building stock for the next 30 years. Not only will the end product be an aesthetically pleasing iconic building for Hull, but also goes some way to reducing the building energy costs. However, more importantly it provides a much better environment for patients, visitors and staff.”